By David Ponce
There’s a company out of Thailand called Rayfish Footwear, and what they’re promising you is pretty out there. They claim to have developed the technology to grow genetically-manipulated stingrays with custom skin patterns, from which they then make a “bio-customized” pair of sneakers. Apparently stingray hide is 10 times stronger than cowhide, and CEO Ramond Ong’s family has been in the stingray hide shoe business for some time. This bio-customization business is allegedly the evolution of that. There’s a website where you can pick your patterns from a vast array and then add some colours in order to create something truly representative of your individual taste. Once designed, you place your order to the tune of $1,800 and wait for them to make your fish, let it grow and make your sneakers from it. But this is once regular production begins in 2012. When their FAQ was written, they claimed to be able to “accommodate a limited number of serious buyers” for a rather steeper sum of $14,800 to $16,200.
We don’t know if anyone gave them their money, but we seriously doubt that a delivery was ever made. Color us skeptical, but we just don’t believe that genetic-manipulation technology is there yet. Aside from the snicker on Ong’s face as he delvers his speech, there’s also the opinion of experts:
David Edwards, a professor of Bioengineering at Harvard University, commented: “one suspects [Rayfish is] playing with genetics, if they are doing anything at all, and claiming an understanding they don’t possess.”
Still, real or fake, it sure is a nice try.